Matiss is doing his internship in China’s version of Silicon Valley

Matiss Zarins is doing his internship at a makerspace in Shenzhen, which is China’s booming centre for technological innovation.

After graduating from our Automotive Technology programme, the 24-year-old is now doing his top-up bachelor in Product Development and Integrative Technology.

His last semester is in an internship in Shenzhen in China. Shenzhen is known as China’s technological headquarters, where development is driven by innovation and raw robot technology.

A true technology mecca

‘Shenzhen produces and develops a great deal of the world’s technology, and the city is often referred to as China’s version of Silicon Valley – a true technology mecca. There are so many opportunities to learn and get really close to skilled engineers and their working methods,’ Matiss says and continues:

‘I am really keen on travelling so being able to combine my internship with cultural experience is a huge advantage for me. China is extremely exciting on the technological front.’

His internship lasts 3 months and concludes with a bachelor project that is based on his experiences as an intern.

Solves a variety of technical challenges

His stay, however, got off to an unexpected start, he adds.

‘The first company wasn’t challenging enough, so I didn’t wait long to find another internship, and I am glad that I did. I was bored beyond belief.’

He discovered Trouble Maker – a so-called makerspace and technological workshop where people from all over the world meet, exchange ideas and create new content - from concept to production.

Matiss helps solve many different technical challenges.

‘Right now I’m working for a Brazilian company, for example, that produces tools for educational purposes. They develop the software, and I help with designing the hardware — in this case, a tablet meant for very young children,’ he says.

China’s largest technology companies are here

You never know how long people will be around in Trouble Maker.

‘Some are here for a single day to brainstorm and exchange experiences, while others book themselves in for weeks or months. I’ve met some Norwegian engineers who partially live in China and then go home every couple of months. It changes a lot,’ continues Matiss.

Many different technology companies, engineers and entrepreneurs meet each day in Shenzhen to experiment with new hardware. And quite a few of China’s largest technology companies have their headquarters in this bustling metropolis.

‘If you need something for your next technical project, you can always find it just around the corner,’ explains Matiss.

Unique experiences for a tech nerd

‘Sometimes I’m at work from morning to night, but I do it with pleasure because I think it’s exciting. For a tech nerd like me, it’s a unique experience to see how technologies perform on the other side of the world. I’ll go back to Denmark with so many incomparable and thought-provoking experiences,’ says Matiss.

He hopes that in the future, his education and international experience will help him get a job in Denmark.

‘But I do like to travel, so maybe you’ll meet me in China in six months again,’ say Matiss grinning.

A few good tips

Matiss has some good advice for others who, like him, have the guts to take a trip to China.

‘You must be aware that life and culture are completely different in China than in Europe. Everything happens faster, and you will also need to get used to the food. But if you are ready for adventure, you should just do it,’ he says.

In China, they are quite strict with access to social media and mainstream services like Google and Dropbox.

‘It is a good idea to get WeChat. It’s an app that replaces Skype and Facebook,’ says Matiss.